71 EX-REBELS IN MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL GET FINANCIAL AID
Former New People's Army rebels from Misamis Occidental on Saturday take the oath of allegiance to the government after they received financial aid through the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. (Photo courtesy: Army's 1st Infantry Division Public Information Office)
PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- Seventy-one former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from Misamis Occidental on Saturday received financial assistance from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Col. Bagnus Gaerlan, Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said that Department of National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana led the distribution of checks in a ceremony held at the Misamis Oriental provincial capitol in Oroquieta City.
Gaerlan said each of the former NPA rebels received PHP65,000 in check while the rest, who are “Yunit Militia” members, received PHP15,000 in check.
“Sixty-nine out of 71 surrenderers were regular Communist NPA terrorist members. The two others were Yunit Militia (members),” Gaerlan said.
Misamis Occidental Gov. Herminia Ramiro noted that the E-CLIP has changed the lives of former NPA rebels and has led to the decreasing number of rebels in the province.
“To our former rebels, there is no turning back, you are now our partners for peace and development in our province,” Ramiro said.
Alias Man-Man, one of the former NPA rebel, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for coming up with the reintegration program. He said they experienced hardships while with the NPA.
“The promise of our government is different compared to Communist NPA terrorist. We fulfill our promise of a good governance, they (NPA) didn’t,” Lorenzana said.
Maj. Gen. Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, has thanked Ramiro and other Misamis Occidental stakeholders for being active in implementing the E-CLIP.
The E-CLIP seeks to contribute towards achieving the goal of permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.
The distribution of the financial assistance was followed by the oath of allegiance by the former NPA rebels where they pledged their commitment, loyalty, and support to the government.
The activity was also attended by Roosque Calacat, DND assistant secretary for barangay affairs and partnership; Reynaldo Mapagu, head of the DND Task Force Balik Loob; Misamis Occidental Vice Governor Virginia Almonte; E-CLIP committee members and police and local government officials as well as other stakeholders. (PNA)